Yesterday, fitball or ball exercises were perceived as exotic, and today it has become one of the most popular types of aerobics.
Such popularity is easily explained by a number of reasons, including ease of development, the absence of specific contraindications, and at the same time, the fascination and high health-improving efficiency of this area of aerobics. But let’s learn about everything in more detail.
What it is?
Fitball aerobics is one of the areas of aerobics, where elastic balls of various sizes act as the main projectile for performing exercises. The history of fitball began in Switzerland, where in the 50s of the last century, Swiss physiotherapist Susan Kleinfogelbach suggested performing exercises with the ball as a rehabilitation gymnastics for patients with cerebral palsy. The high efficiency of the proposed method has led to the fact that the range of application of exercises with the ball has significantly expanded and today it is used as a means to rehabilitate people with injuries of the musculoskeletal system and problem joints.
As in the case of other types of aerobics, a variety of exercises are included in fitball aerobics classes: strength exercises for developing muscle strength, dynamic exercises for developing coordination and improving the overall endurance of the body, as well as stretching and muscle relaxation exercises.
The main tool for fitball aerobics is a large and lightweight bouncy ball, also called a fitball. Balls have a size of 50 to 85 cm and are able to withstand weight up to 300 kg. The size of the fitball is chosen based on the growth involved, the higher the growth – the larger the diameter of the ball. Balls are of varying degrees of puffiness, the complexity of the exercises depends on this, the stronger the ball is inflated – the harder it is to do. For this reason, newcomers are recommended to perform exercises on a semi-exhausted projectile and always under the guidance of a trainer.
Fitball aerobics, like other types of aerobics, is a collective exercise, but if you wish, you can also do it at home under the guidance of a video trainer.
Good fitball aerobics
Fitball aerobics loads the majority of muscle groups, develops endurance and flexibility, improves coordination and the work of the vestibular apparatus, and also stimulates the activity of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
The round shape of the ball increases the amplitude of movements, which increases their efficiency and contributes to the stretching of the muscles. The constant oscillations of the ball stimulate the work of the internal organs and systems, including the gastrointestinal tract, the endocrine and nervous systems, and its instability causes the muscles to remain in constant tension in order to maintain balance.
When doing fitball aerobics on the lower limbs, there is a slight load, which makes this sport extremely useful for people suffering from arthrosis and osteochondrosis. For the same reason, classes on fitball are recommended by doctors to people in old age, as well as during pregnancy, varicose veins and problems with overweight.
As you know, sitting on a fitball is obtained only with a straightened back, so aerobic fitball exercises help improve posture and are extremely useful for the spine. And in Scandinavian countries, schools use balls instead of chairs.
Exercises on the ball contribute to the development of the ability to self-control and self-analysis, therefore fitball exercises are often included in yoga and tai-chi programs.